Tech How-To

Shave down your Uni seat

How to keep your freewheel working properly

Tips on how to set up your bike - proper chain tension, bar angle, brake lever angle

How to apply tar to rims
    Use your little bar/chunk of tar like a crayon or piece of chalk and "draw" the tar onto the rim in little arcs. You don't have to push very hard, just try to get a nice faint line in the middle of the brake track (you don't need to cover the whole brake track). You'll figure it out. Ride around with the brakes on and if you get that nice, grippy, squeaky sound when you pull the brakes, you're good to go. Just don't get too much on or your pads will stick to the rim (bad!). You don't need much, I put on as little as possible when I use tar, then just reapply when it starts wearing. I recommend just tarring the rear wheel, if you must use tar at all. Having nice quiet brakes is not only nice on your ears, but also those people around you. Not to mention being able to modulate your brakes much better without tar, which is a nice thing..
How to grind your rims
    Tools/Materials Needed:
    Hand disc grinder (I use a Makita 100 mm Disc Grinder with a Metal Professional 4" x 1/4" x 5/8" disc)
    Eye goggles (to protect your eyes from little bits of aluminum, which you'll be completely covered in by the time you're done)

    Directions: (if you are under 18, please have an adult watch and help you, or do it for you)
      In an open area, flip your bike over and deflate your tires completely. Put on your goggles. Push the tire away from you, away from the rim (you don't want to hit the tire!). This is also a good time to remind yourself not to hit your hand while trying to push the tire away from the grinder... Be careful! Turn the disc grinder on, and rub it back and forth against the top portion of the brake track on the rim. When you get the depth you want, rotate the wheel a little and keep going. Same for the rest of the bike. You'll have to figure out how harsh of a grind you like. If you don't feel much of a bite with the newly ground rims, you might want to do it deeper next time.
How to get your chain tight with Monty snail style chain tensioners
    Loosen each bolt on the wheel one turn, pull out a pair of pliers or an adjustable wrench, then turn the chain side tensioner one slot tighter with the pliers or wrench and then do the non-chain side. Balance the bike on the rear wheel while tightening the bolts, just to make sure they're resting against the tensioners well.